By PHILIP ELLIOTT and JIM KUHNHENN, AP, Aug. 18, 2012
THE VILLAGES, Fla. (AP) — Paul Ryan, a champion of changing Medicare, spoke as a passionate defender Saturday, promising seniors that he and Mitt Romney would save it, and he introduced his mother to voters to drive home the point that the health program “was there for our family” and “we have to keep that guarantee.”
The vice presidential hopeful tried to strike a careful balance on a dicey subject in his speech at a sprawling retirement community. The Republican ticket has come under withering criticism from President Barack Obama for Ryan’s proposals in Congress to overhaul Medicare. Ryan says Medicare will be protected for people in and near retirement, and he wants to see younger generations offered alternatives to the entitlement.
Obama, campaigning in New Hampshire, was casting the choice Election Day as one between two fundamentally different approaches to the government’s responsibility to its citizens and who pays the bill. In an excerpt of his planned remarks, he criticized Romney’s tax proposals as “trickle-down fairy dust” that has failed to grow the economy in the past and won’t work now.